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Lubbock Tornado: A Survey of Building Damage in an Urban Area (NBS TN 558)



N. F. Somes, R D. Dikkers, T. H. Boone


The Building Research Division of the National Bureau of Standards' Institute of Applied Technology sent a three-man team to investigate the damage to buildings and other structures caused by the tornado which struck Lubbock, Texas, on May 11, 1970. The team members carried out photographic surveys on the ground and from a helicoptoer on the days of May 14, 15, and 16, 1970. The report is based largely on data gathered during this period but includes some data provided by other agencies and individuals whose assistance is acknowledged in the report. The report concludes that current good practice in the design and construction of buildings and mobile homes would have greatly reduced the damage observed at Lubbock. It also notes that natural disasters provide full-scale tests of buildings and urges the development of performance criteria with respect to wind loads for certain building elements.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 558
Report Number


anchorage, building performance, glazing, hailstones, masonry, mobile homes, roofs, structural engineering, wind load


Somes, N. , Dikkers, R. and Boone, T. (1971), Lubbock Tornado: A Survey of Building Damage in an Urban Area (NBS TN 558), Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created March 1, 1971, Updated November 10, 2018